All entries for September 2005
September 24, 2005
Spot the difference
In the mind of the little kitty on the left, she's just like the big kitty on the right. It doesn't matter that little kitty is 17 years old and stone deaf, spends most of her time conked out in a patch of sunshine, and has never been a particularly skilful hunter (I think she caught a mouse. Once. In 1990)... my cat Muffkin persists in her dogged (catted?) belief that she is in fact a ferocious, mean, lean fightin' machine.
Yet she rarely acts on her hunting impulses. She knows that she could do it if she had to, but most of the time she's content to spend her days slumped in front of the bird table, regarding it as a peculiar form of feline television – distracting, engaging, but part of an unobtainable fantasy world nonetheless. The food that my mum puts out for the birds serves as a particularly effective form of bait to draw in the entertainment, something that is probably akin to paying the TV licencing fee.
Recently my mum has started to put out nuts as well as seeds, and a little fat squirrel has been paying regular visits to our garden. He dashes hither and thither, occasionally pausing to nibble on a hazelnut, in his incessant quest to bury every last nut in strategic places all over the garden. And the nuts keep coming, a seemingly endless supply. So the squirrel keeps going. Actually, I think my mum should stop putting out the nuts for a few days so he can put his feet up and rest for a bit.
Anyway, there was Muffkin, basking in her usual patch of sunshine, and there was the squirrel on the other side of the patio door, having just discovered a new hiding place for the latest nut. She didn’t notice him for a good ten minutes, snoozing away contentedly while he busied away with his project of digging and burying his nuts in a nearby plant pot.
But as dreams of mice waned and reality began to seep back into her consciousness, she slowly became aware of some interesting activity taking place just inches away from her face. She opened one eye. And then the other. And an expression of ferocious glee shone forth and distorted her usually benign features, as she leapt to her feet with murderous intent.
“Grrrr! I’m a big scary panther!” she growled menacingly, making a lunge in the direction of his tail.
He took one look at her, rolled his eyes, and scampered back to the top of the bird table to finish eating his nut.
Muffkin patrolled the garden for a few minutes, before heading back to her cat basket. ‘Hmmph, that showed him,’ she said smugly.
September 21, 2005
Room needed in London
Can anyone point me in the direction of useful flat-share websites for London? I had about 4 urls recommended to me by friends but now I've lost the scrap of paper they were written on – duh.
Any advice would be much appreciated, as I don't know london that well and I'm about to move there for a couple of years at least. Am hoping to live around the Clapham area.
September 20, 2005
Au revoir les canards…
I'm going back to Yorkshire this afternoon, as am still feeling knackered and have developed bizarre painful lump in neck (my brain losing its way in my head?). Actually that's not really why I'm going back to Yorkshire, it's more to see parents and cat and go shopping in Leeds – hooray! and it's shopping wot is allowed since I have no clothes for starting work in 3 weeks time.
Am really going to miss the ducks. I don't think they have ducks in Yorkshire. Et le chum. They definitely don't have le chum in Yorkshire.
I feel sort of displaced. Odd that my time at Warwick has come to an end, but mostly a relief to be honest. Odd that I'm still here when all the other MA students have buggered off, but I'm not part of the place. Not that I ever was, not really. Odd that I haven't really moved on to the next stage either, and don't even have anywhere to live in London yet.
During the next month or so you can probably catch me on a train somewhere between Wakefield, London, Coventry and/or a small village near Windsor. Occasionally stopping still for a few minutes to breath the air and feed the ducks.
September 16, 2005
Clapham Common 10K
Writing about web page http://www.innovationsports.co.uk/events/CC10K_301005.pdf
Oooh have just entered a 'nice little 10K' (Jamie's words) for the end of October. Now just need to get self into running shoes, and running shoes into gym / the great outdoors. Fitness level: zilch. Days left to train: 44 (6 weeks and 2 days – ages!). Excuses: Not allowed, under any circumstances.
Oh and good luck to Leonie for the New Forest 1/2 marathon on Sunday – you'll storm it!
September 13, 2005
A Weighty Tome
- Words written excluding biblio and appendices: exactly 18,000
- Pages: 83
- Articles, prepositions, conjunctions and other 'unnecessary' grammatical features removed to get down to word limit: All of them
- Hours slept in past week: feels like 0
- Hours I plan to sleep tomorrow: 25
- Number of phone calls to my mum today: 6
- Tears shed: 5 million
- Likelihood the printer will break / the university will suffer a power failure / lazer lizard won't be able to bind it before 3 o'clock tomorrow: oh very likely indeed
but it's done.
September 12, 2005
Writing about web page http://www.duckdensity.org.ukWarwick is fifth out of all UK universities for 'duck density'. Fabuleux.
Save the ducklings
Last month there were eight ducklings swimming on the pond next to Claycroft, last week there were four, and now there are only two (the smaller one pictured right -->).
Sounds like the start of a nursery school song, but if you're passing by CC pond (c'mon, there must be someone left on this godforsaken campus!), give some bread to the ducklings. It's late in the year for ducklings and they need all the help they can get. Nature's cruel.
Have been down there to feed them this evening and they were most appreciative. Well, lots of squawking. What's that all about anyway? Lately the ducks appear to be going mad – making a lot of noise and fighting each other. Leonie – if you read this, I want an explanation!
I like ducks, me. Not the crazed bastard rapist ones though.
September 08, 2005
My time at Warwick is almost at an end and I feel a very odd sense of sadness to be leaving, a sort of nostalgia for what might have been had I been more … and less…
I wish I'd smiled and laughed more, gone out more, got to know new people, and stayed in touch with friends and family better. I wish I'd got more involved in the university, done some voluntary work, learned a new language, read more books. I wish that I'd been more motivated to learn new things. I wish I'd spent more time at the arts centre, seen more plays and gone to the cinema (and tesco!!) more often. I wish that I had trusted and followed my instincts more ('cept then I would have left). And most of all that I'd been friendlier and a nicer person.
I wish I'd cried less and not felt so angry. I wish I'd felt less stressed and worried and actually thought more about what I was doing and learning. I wish I'd spent less time on Virgin trains and more time at my destinations, with the people I love and care about. I wish I'd spent less time over-analysing everything and beating myself up for not being perfect.
This is starting to sound like one of those inane 'life-affirming' email forwards so I will shut up now. And in any case, if I had this (academic) year to live again, I would probably do exactly the same things again, so it's not like I can claim to have learned from the experience. Onwards…
I don't like it
Oh my god!
My Piranhas n Pigs category has gone AWOL
as has my Brain, or Lack Thereof (both literally and in the blog-category sense)
Now all I'm stuck with is BORING sociology and masculinities and BLUDDY dissertation stuff that I actually bothered to tag.
I don't like it!
update 9pm Okay I do like it. You was right. I take it all back.
September 06, 2005
the end is nigh
It's nearly the end! My DISSERTATION is due a week tomorrow and it is pretty much written except for the intro/conclusion. It needs some editing, restructuring and cutting down as it is WAY too long (and I never thought I'd be able to write 15,000 words, let alone 18 thou), but I think it is actually going to be finished on time!
Then I have to quickly find somewhere to live in London, move there (trying not to get lost en route), and start new job in October. I am quite excited by the prospect, though also faintly terrified. Just need to stay calm and remember to keep breathing.
I need a grape.